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If it wasn't for the fact that the default Minecraft character is referred to as “Minecraft Guy” and that I once jokingly answered “Steve?” when asked what his* name was, Minecraft would be a game where gender isn't a gameplay element.

Posted by Kizzycocoa on Jul 28th, 2012

[Keep in mind I am no longer the lead developer on Minecraft, Jens is. This post is about what I thought about back when I was making it]

If it wasn't for the fact that the default Minecraft character is referred to as “Minecraft Guy” and that I once jokingly answered “Steve?” when asked what his* name was, Minecraft would be a game where gender isn't a gameplay element.

The human model is intended to represent a Human Being. Not a male Human Being or a female Human Being, but simply a Human Being. The blocky shape gives it a bit of a traditional masculine look, but adding a separate female mesh would just make it worse by having one specific model for female Human Beings and male ones. That would force players to make a decisions about gender in a game where gender doesn't even exist.

All the other mobs in the game are genderless and usually exhibit the most prominent traits of both genders. Cows have horns and udders (even if I've later learned that there are some cows where the females do have horns), and the chicken/duck/whatevers have heads that look like roosters, but still lay eggs. For breeding, any animal can breed with any other animal of the same species.

Obviously, I'm not saying this is a good way to deal with gender in all games, as the better your graphics are, and because of how quickly the human mind tries to identify the gender of other humans, you are going to have to make a decision as a developer about gender, but I felt we could get away with it in Minecraft.

There's no point to this post. I just wanted to clarify, so there's an official word on it.

Also, as a fun side fact, it means every character and animal in Minecraft is homosexual because there's only one gender to choose from. Take THAT, homophobes!

* I do regret using masculine terms to talk about the default character. These days I try to use the up-and-coming use of “they” as a genderless pronoun.

(Notch blog link)

Post comment Comments
MattyG Jul 28 2012 says:

Notch posts on his blog again? That's new.

Was this initially a crappy excuse not to put genders in the game when he was involved in development? There's a mod that does and it actually fits in well too, females are merely slightly shorter with blocky breasts, but still fits into Minecraft finely if you're into aesthetics. Only changes players you put on to a specific list, IIRC.

On the other hand, the Beta 1.8 onwards player hit sound is rather gender neutral alone.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Briaya Jul 28 2012 says:

Actually... If they are having children and are all guys, isn't there another term for that because really...that makes it far more than just being homosexual.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kizzycocoa Author
Kizzycocoa Jul 28 2012 replied:

I believe shippers call it "Mpreg".

don't even try to delve into this sorta stuff. shippers are among the most disturbed people in the world.

I myself know many shippers of Homestuck. the things that they think up should land them in a mental hospital.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Jeffman12 Jul 28 2012 replied:

Their reproductive method is hermaphroditic is it implies bearing both male and female genitalia, but earth worms which have only one gender and are hermaphroditic, for example, are all homosexual. Contrary to popular belief, hermaphroditic reproduction in most creatures requires two to mate, plants on the other hand can reproduce asexually.

Sexual reproduction refers to instances where two individuals of a species are involved or required for fertilization, asexual reproduction is when a single plant/animal/microorganism may fertilize itself.

IMO, having genders in games with a chat feature encourages cybering, which should never happen on pub servers. Besides, player skins let people get by just fine.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Kizzycocoa Author
Kizzycocoa Jul 28 2012 replied:

oh the subject of hermaphrodites, as well as Notch taking a jab at homophobes, I wanna ask you guys/girls something.

hermaphrodites with hermaphrodites, or hermaphrodites with anyone but hermaphrodites. which is acceptable by bigots/religion.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Briaya Jul 28 2012 replied:

I'd say it depends on what features show more. If you want to go way farther than that, then it'd be what your DNA says you are because it might say you are more male than female or the other way around.

But to not get into THAT kind of debate, I will say something someone else said.. Why does Steve have a beard and if it isn't a beard, then why does he have such a big mouth?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cod_Fish Jul 28 2012 says:

I like this stance. Yay Mojang!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Warner Jul 28 2012 says:

Steve has been a man in the days when he would beautifully say...


Sadly it is now..."K-CRACK"

+5 votes     reply to comment
Riccars Jul 28 2012 says:

I call every chicken Charles because one time I was watching my friend play. He was making an underground cave base semi-inspired by X-COM. Right as he was talking about how awesome and impenetrable his base was a chicken fluttered down the ladder and it joined him. I was like, "name him Charles," and Charles was created.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Dark_Ventus Jul 28 2012 says:

The last sentence you posted doesn't even make sense, if there's no genders, why did you state that there's only one to choose from?

-2 votes     reply to comment
Mr.Nuke Jul 28 2012 says:

I think people make to big of a deal with this, Maybe some new sounds are needed, and a female skin, which would be steve with long hair. But thats all that is neccesary

0 votes     reply to comment
TrashCan-Man23 Jul 28 2012 says:

Notch wanting more attention? What a shocker!

-2 votes     reply to comment
RoboTyphoon Jul 29 2012 says:

After reading all these comments about homosexuality and what not, actually made me feel a bit sick. I almost want to look at Minecraft in a completely different way now:3

-3 votes     reply to comment
Kizzycocoa Author
Kizzycocoa Jul 29 2012 replied:

I wish to say, with the matter somewhat personal, I am not opposed to gays at all. moreover, I support, and know many gay people. I'm somewhat of an "agony aunt", so I know a fair few people.

I also do not have any particular religious beliefs. I don't believe they will be sent to hell at all, if it exists, which I highly doubt it does.

0 votes   reply to comment
Jeffman12 Jul 29 2012 replied:

Indeed, many Christians don't believe this either, as it's contrary to their religious texts preaching tolerance and understanding, however this is not the case with the most vocal groups(Ex. Westboro Baptists), as their tenets are that of fear and hate as they pick choose to take what they find as convenient support for their bigoted lifestyles as canon.

0 votes     reply to comment
Kizzycocoa Author
Kizzycocoa Jul 30 2012 replied:

I personally believe, if a "hell" exists, it is the same as a "heaven". if there's an afterlife, I don't believe you're sorted into black and white. I believe you create your own reality, if such places exist. you lead a bad life, and your afterlife will mimic it, etc.

but really, I see religion as control. a way to force people to be good, or they'll go to hell, distracting their attention from reality, and what's being done to our countries.

spirituality, I'm somewhat open to listening. but religions are really waning in my head. their old methods of control are failing, so, they're driving people away.

0 votes   reply to comment
michael89 Aug 1 2012 says:

"Also, as a fun side fact, it means every character and animal in Minecraft is homosexual because there's only one gender to choose from."

Well... Minecraft is a Swedish game, so was it really that surprising?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DaggerClassStudio Aug 6 2012 says:

Lol loved the way that was all explained :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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